Drones at Home: Phase 1 – Gallery@Calit2

I’m collaborating with The Periscope Project (TPP) on version 2 of their “Drone Ready-Made: Fine Military Detritus” project in conjunction with the Drones at Home exhibition at Calit2 (see below). In the gallery and online, an interface I programmed, “The Drone War Did Not Take Place,” tracks a Predator drone shipping container, found on Craigslist and retrofitted by The Periscope Project as a camping apparatus, as TPP members guide it through the city of San Diego.

Their path will take them from UC San Diego, past various defense contractors and government agencies including The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), to finally rest at TPP’s downtown location. By (re)mapping data from my Camp La Jolla Military Park project, the tracking interface reveals the connections between the physicality of TPP’s laborious gesture, and the economic and political ties between the object they push and the sites and corporations where everyone employed is implicated in the destructive impact of a permanent arms economy.

The interface will be made public during the upcoming three-day performance by The Periscope Project. It will display their location in real-time, along with images from their journey, and a twitter feed displaying news and unfiltered dialog (hashtag: #dronebox) as they treck through “the largest concentration of military facilities and defense industries in the world.”(1)

1. “San Diego Military Economic Impact Study,” San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, January 2007, http://www.sddt.com/files/2007_Military_Economic_Impact_Study.pdf

Drones at Home
March 7–September 14, 2012

Drones at Home explores the strange allure of drones and the push for their domestication —by governments, corporations, and everyday citizens.

Phase 1
Opening Reception March 7, 2012 gallery@calit2, 5pm-7pm

Phase 2
Symposium May 11 & 12, 2012 Calit2 Auditorium, 9am-8pm

Phase 3
Opening Reception June 6, 2012 gallery@calit2, 5pm-7pm
Closing Reception September 14, 2012 gallery@calit2, 5pm-7pm

“Home” is understood at multiple scales-at the level of the individual, backyard, community, border region, and homeland. The San Diego region is featured prominently and regional issues are explored as exemplars of global phenomena. The exhibition also departs from any strict interpretation of the form that a drone must take; the project expands on the “unmanned” nature of the drone as symbolic of a larger condition–ecologies where the status of the human is called into question, distributed and embedded in a wider field of shared intelligence.

Drones at Home will be presented in three phases. Phase 1 includes an exhibition; Phase 2 consists of panels and a workshop; and Phase 3, which continues through the summer, will include the creation of new drone projects in collaboration with invited artists and research groups at Calit2. Co-curated by Sheldon Brown, Jordan Crandall, and Ricardo Dominguez, this first phase will feature the work of Matthew Battles, Trevor Paglen, The Periscope Project, Alex Rivera and Angel Nevarez, along with additional work drawn from research in the field.

Matthew Battles is a poet, writer, and co-founder of HiLobrow.com. His forthcoming books include Letter by Letter (W. W. Norton), a sentimental and natural history of writing, and a short story collection, The Sovereignties of Invention (Red Lemonade). He is a research fellow with metaLAB, an academic and creative collaborative devoted to the exploration of technology in the arts and humanities, hosted by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Alex Rivera is a New York based digital media artist and filmmaker. His first feature film, SLEEP DEALER premiered at Sundance 2008, and won two awards, including the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Rivera is a Sundance Fellow and a Rockefeller Fellow. His work, which addresses concerns of the Latino community through a language of humor, satire, and metaphor, has also been screened at The Berlin International Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, The Guggenheim Museum, PBS, Telluride, and other international venues.

Angel Nevarez is an artist, musician, and DJ. He has produced works which investigate contemporary music, dissent, and public fora, and move between the spatial simultaneity of performance and enunciation, reflecting upon the projection of political agency through transmission and song. His interests lie in the formation of mobile, performative, and discursive-based social spaces, along with the re-articulation of communicatory systems within such locales. Nevarez is also a faculty member of MIT’s Art, Culture, and Technology Program.

Trevor Paglen’s work deliberately blurs lines between science, contemporary art, journalism, and other disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world around us. Paglen’s visual work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tate Modern, London; The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; the 2008 Taipei Biennial; the Istanbul Biennial 2009, and numerous other solo and group exhibitions.

The Periscope Project is a space and co-operative based in downtown San Diego committed to the transdisciplinary nexus of art, architecture, and regional urban issues. Operating by the efforts of its resident practitioners; Drone Readymade represents the first discreet project (outside of The Periscope Project itself) undertaken collaboratively. The project’s primary authors are James Enos (M.Arch, NSAD, MFA UCSD, Visiting Assistant Professor, FSU), Molly Enos (M.Arch NSAD, AIA), Charles G. Miller (MFA UCSD), Keith Muller, Andrea Ngan, David Kim, Jon Barth, Jason Durr and Jay Ojeda; with key contributions from Jon Zuppan. For Drones at Home, The Periscope Project is collaborating with Owen Mundy (MFA UCSD, Assistant Professor FSU).

All gallery events are FREE and open to the public.
Please RSVP to Trish Stone, Gallery Coordinator, tstone@ucsd.edu
Media Contact: Tiffany Fox, tfox@ucsd.edu